Recently, we talked about the difference between a Jewelry Line and a Jewelry Collection.
In that post, we focused on how to define and organize your lines of business. If you missed it you can read Line vs. Collection here.
Today, we are taking an in depth look at the characteristics of jewelry collections and how to get started designing your own.
So let’s take a look at the jump right into Collections.
Characteristics of a Jewelry Collection
A Jewelry collection is a group of pieces that have a similar design aesthetic, material/metal and feel. The pieces just work together or complement each other. Most designers have multiple collections.
Often a collection will have the same design element or theme running through all of the pieces. This could be a cube, a horseshoe, a heart, a spiral…it could be anything tying the pieces together.
A collection tells a story and people love to tell stories about their personal purchase and it connects it to your story.
A good collection, like a good story, is Clear, Concise, Cohesive and Consistent. Marlene Richey calls these the 4C’s of a collection.
When you design a collection, you will be creating a body of work based upon a common element or theme.
Taken as a whole, the overall look and feel of your work should clearly reflect that common thread.
As a designer, you need to be prepared to define your work and your collections.
Being able to clearly and concisely define your work and your collections is invaluable.
Being concise also relates to the pieces in your collections.
Each piece in the collection should fit in concisely. A vague or ambiguous piece can throw off the whole aesthetic or feel of the collection.
Designers develop a whole range of related ideas to produce groups of items that work not only as stand-alone pieces but also work together in a collection.
A consistent approach to important factors such as color, shape, pattern, and proportion helps to create this cohesion
Customers prefer a cohesive collection because it makes sense and is more appealing to the subconscious mind.
Cohesive pieces add value to the collection as a whole, have some commonality and can be somewhat interchangeable.
Your work should consistently reflect your style as a designer.
Consistency is visually appealing.
Similarity of techniques and materials, as well as repetition, show consistency in your collections.
How to Design your Collection....
Understanding the Elements and Principles of design will help you create well designed jewelry and a well-designed collection.
Check out these links, if you missed the previous posts or need a refresher.
Key Elements of Design
Use of design elements and principles help you achieve the 4C’s in every collection.
But exactly constitutes a collection?
There are several schools of thought in this subject but I have found a few that make more sense to me as a designer.
A good collection consist of 10-18 cohesive pieces of jewelry.
But there are no hard fast rules to defining your collection.
You can decide for yourself how many pieces to include.
6 Key Collection Pieces
- Statement Necklace
- Cocktail Ring
- Drop Earrings
- Simple Stud Earrings
The pieces in your collection should have at least one element in common but should also differ slightly from one another.
Variety is important.
Your work should appeal to your potential customers and key audience. We have talked about this before, in the Start your own Jewelry Business series.
Understanding your customer base is key to designing items they like and will purchase from you. The descriptions of your work and collections should speak to these key customers specifically.
Retain your own style of design and portray that style in all your work and collections.
- Have 1 Common Element or Concept.
- Draw 40 thumbnails using the Key Common Element.
- Collect 25 Keywords that describe your work, process and style.
- Consider your Customer Base or Target Audience.
- Give yourself plenty of time to develop your collection.
- Check your collection for Cohesion and Consistency.
Use your Keywords to write up:
- 2-word tag lines
- 2-sentence collection and item descriptions (or short artist statement)
- 2-paragraph collection and item descriptions (or full artist statement)
Now we have a very clear understanding of what it takes to design a great jewelry collection.
We are one step closer to designing our first collection.
In my next post, I am going to take you through an assessment of my existing work and how to verify what pieces work together and could constitute a base collection.
If you are like me, you have lots of random pieces you have designed and are looking for a more professional way to present your work and your story.
So stay tuned in to Jewelry Design Basics for more.